Monday started rather horrifically for Microsoft, as a huge Locust cage was placed in the middle of London’s Marble Arch to celebrate the launch of Gears of War 3. But as the evening went on and the clock ticked to midnight, the horror turned to excitement as around 400 people lined up at GAME’s Oxford Street store for a copy of the game.
The flagship specialist store shut up shop around 9pm to transform itself into the UK’s official launch hub for Microsoft’s biggest release of the year. Alongside pretty cardboard standees and tie-in accessories, Dom Santiago voice actor Carlos Ferro took the time to mingle with the horde of eager COG fans waiting outside.
As customers and guests alike all played around with Golden Lancers, the first ten fans in the queue - including #1 Jon Ashton - watched a special video message from Cliff Bleszinski before lining up at 11:30pm to await their prize. They would not be able to leave the store until the clock struck 12:00, and not before Carlos Ferro hopped on the store counter to rally the crowd and get them to chant ‘Sup Bitches?’ several times over.
Neil Ashurst, head of UK PR for GAME and gamestation, was exceptionally happy about the turnout. “We have 429 GAME and gamestation stores open across the country, and there’s been big queues at pretty much all of them. Literally out the door. People have been tweeting me pictures from other stores, so it’s not just here. But at Oxford Street we have just around 400 people right now.
Interacting with the fans on midnight launches like this is the best part of the job - however tired we are after going to GAMEfest and coming straight here, it’s when you see these guys’ enthusiasm that makes your work all worthwhile. This is why, particularly in retail, we get so excited about launches - it’s the moment where everything for a publisher and us comes to fruition. However knackered I might be right now, this is the fun bit.”
Take a look at all the snaps that we shot by clicking on our gallery.